Remorseful Thief Apologizes and Sends Loot Back to Victim ... 15 Years Later

That's Criminal 4

stolen ringsMargot Riphagen had a wild party when she was 16. It was one of those classic, made-for-sitcoms situations: teenager invites a few friends over, teenager watches helplessly as the shindig spirals out of control because of uninvited guests, teenager catches hell from parents because the place is destroyed.

In the aftermath of her real-life House Party experience, she and her family discovered items had been stolen. Her mom and dad even turned her in to the police. Among the missing belongings were four gold rings, one of them her mother’s wedding band waiting to be resized. As if she needed to feel any worse.

Fast forward 15 years and the thief’s guilt had apparently been eating away at their conscience. So he or she penned an anonymous note of apology, signed it a "dumb kid who wants to right a wrong," and sent it to Margot’s mother at work—with the stolen rings.

“I recently found these rings while cleaning and I wanted to make sure I return them as I’m sure they were missed dearly,” the regretful bandit admitted in the handwritten note.“I recently found these rings while cleaning and I wanted to make sure I return them as I’m sure they were missed dearly,” the regretful bandit admitted in the handwritten note.

Sometimes, a heartfelt “I’m sorry” is better delivered late than not at all. Isn’t that story just precious?

Margot is now 31, but she never expected the sticky-fingered partygoer to cough up the goods. She just assumed, I’m sure, it would go down on the list of things your parents secretly hold against you forever and ever from childhood, like when I cracked the glass water pitcher my mom had had since she’d moved out on her own and spilled nail polish all over her new carpet.

Even a bajillion years later, when I was home for the holidays, she breezed through the room and shot out an attitudey warning: “Make sure you put the lid back on the nail polish in case you knock it over.” I might as well have a scarlet “K” emblazoned across my chest for the rest of my life for “klutz.” That kind of stuff sticks with you when you’re someone’s kid. So I’m sure Margot was feeling the sting from time to time.

The sentimental value of the recovered rings probably far outweighs their monetary worth, so good thing the kid didn’t hock them or otherwise get rid of them. Margot didn’t even know until they were miraculously returned, but two of the other rings belonged to her grandparents—they were their wedding bands—and the other was a gift to her mother from her father when her sister was born. Awww.

If some mystery figure could return one thing you’ve lost or was stolen in the past, what would it be?


Image via Margot Riphagen

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